We Are Scout - Hunting. Gathering. Making. The Good Stuff


Archive: May 2009

  1. Kelly Smith + Macushla Burke = Beautiful Images


    There’s something about the combination of photography and illustration that really excites me. The current issue of Cream magazine features a really lovely example of this: a fashion story which is a collaboration between illustrator Kelly Smith and photographer Macushla Burke.

    These images just make me swoon. I love the softness of the images, the feather, the rock chick vibe… they are so beautiful and yet the black crows give them a slightly sinister edge. Perfect.

    Image Source: Kelly Smith

    On her blog Kelly said that the photos reminded her a bit of Kate Hudson in Almost Famous, which led her to think about Chris Robinson. Hence the black crows. Love that train of thought!

    You might also like to see my previous post on Kelly Smith here.

  2. Monday BlogDay: Instinct and Grace

    1 Comment

    I have been intending to blog about Kylie Johnson of Paper Boat Press for a while, and following a lovely email conversation we had over the weekend I figured that there’s no time like the present. Kylie creates the most beautiful ceramics and is also a published poet (her book is called Count Me the Stars)…. how talented can one person be?

    Kylie has a beautifully written blog called Instinct and Grace, which also happens to have one of my favourite blog headers of all time. Although Kylie doesn’t post every day I always like visiting Instinct and Grace because I really enjoy her style of writing and her lovely photography which offers glimpses of her studio and shows work in progress.

    Kylie has recently opened an online store for Paper Boat Press (with another lovely header) and you can see more of her work on her website.

    In the next couple of weeks Kylie will be releasing some new products including very sweet ceramic tags for kitchen storage. And she has signed a book deal with Murdoch books for her second book of poetry, due for release early next year. Go Kylie!

  3. Going, going … Hats at the V&A


    This weekend is your last chance to catch the very fabulous Hats exhibition at the V&A, which is a collaborative effort between London milliner Stephen Jones and the museum. Jones has scoured the V&A’s extensive archives to showcase not only the changing fashions in headwear over the past 17 centuries, but to throw light on the workmanship, creativity and inspiration that goes into each individual piece.

    Picture 5

    Challenging my own (rather bad) habit of visiting must-see exhibitions ‘til the final days, I caught Hats back in March, and was enthused by Jones’ clearly passionate curatorial role, which also provided many professional insights.

    Picture 3

    Personal highlights included Jones’ mod-ish Underground roundel hat for AW08, a horsehair and silk bonnet worn by Queen Victoria, and a 17th century leather jester’s cap adorned with tiny jingle bells (and not a lurid velour version in sight!). I also really loved Hussein Chayalan’s wooden egg helmet (’98), Christian Dior’s plastic cubist pillbox (’66) and Adolfor’s mushroom hat (’65). And then there’s the Norman Hartnell evening hat worn by Margot Fonteyn, and the Cecil Beaton bonnet worn by Audrey Hepburn during the Ascot scene of My Fair Lady.

    Picture 4

    The centrepiece of the exhibition is a voyeuristic glimpse into the inner sanctuary of a milliner’s studio, which Jones accurately describes as “half-Aladdin’s cave and half-artist’s studio”.

    Picture 6

    Keep an eye out for some of the choice goodies on offer in the museum shop, like these cloche hat brooches and reasonably-priced paper hats.

    Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones
    Closes Sunday 31 May 2009
    £5 adults, £4 concessions.
    Victoria and Albert Museum
    Cromwell Road
    London SW7 2RL

    Nearest tube: South Kensington

    All images courtesy of the V&A Museum.

  4. Shopping in Tokyo :: GIVEAWAY


    Want to share in some of the fruits of my shopping? I’ve got 2 lots of goodies to give away. The piles you see in the photo above are just the beginning!

    Both of the collections I’ve put together for you contain lots of wonderful Japanese goodness including washi paper tape, letter paper, envelopes, origami paper, the sweetest printed paper bags, little note cards, note paper, tiny cute sticky notes, sticky tape with cute animals on it, some Kokka fabric with little bugs and apples, a length of fabric tape with animals on it, a mushroom clip, and a little ‘joyful’ animal container. Plus a few other bits and pieces that will vary for each of the 2 giveaways.

    So how do you win? Just leave a comment on this post about your favourite place to shop – it could be a favourite city or area, or a particular shop. The winner will be chosen at random this time next week, which is also when I’ll put the second lot of goodies up to give away. You can enter both giveaways, and I’m happy post them internationally.

    Oh, and do you like the cute little mini bunting I made from my washi paper tape? It’s such beautiful tape…

    Edit: I almost forgot to wish you a wonderful weekend: relaxing, creating, enjoying… whatever you have planned I hope it’s a lovely one.

  5. Shopping in Tokyo Part 3 :: Bits and Pieces


    Friday already?! This week has been kinda hectic getting back on top of things, and I haven’t got back on top of bloggin in the way that I would’ve liked. I have managed to take some photos of some bits and pieces from Tokyo. (Please excuse the dodgey light and shadows in these photos) I do promise to write more of a guide next week with my favourite shops etc. And I’ll photograph the beautiful paper and fabric I bought.

    Fabulous washi paper tape. Last year there were only plain tapes available, so of course I had to buy some patterned ones this time.

    So cute! Children’s chopsticks and tiny little plastic bottles with animal head lids, and little plastic containers.

    A present I’ve wrapped for a friend.

    Gorgeous little paper bags, note cards, post-its and envelopes. Japan is stationery heaven.

    A great range of lovely retro colour inks for my Gocco. And beautiful fabric tapes.

    This is the lovely paper that was wrapped around some gifty biscuits.

    Later on today there’ll be a giveaway post – I’m making up two giveaway packs of fun stuff from Tokyo. Back soon…

  6. Etsy Search Top 10: Japanese Vintage

    1 Comment

    This week’s keyword for my Etsy search was ‘Japanese’, within the vintage listings. That probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise!

    Just click on the image captions to go to each Etsy seller’s page.

    My Friend ABC – a vintage children’s book.


  7. Shopping in Tokyo Part 2 :: Design Festa


    Apologies for the very late post today. You know some days things just get away from you and before you know it you’re transferring your list of things to do on to tomorrow’s page in your diary? That’s how it’s been for me today.

    Yesterday I promised today’s post would be about Design Festa. Our family holiday to Japan last year coincided with Design Festa and I vowed to do my best to get back to Tokyo each year for the event (especially with bargain flights from Jetstar making it so affordable). Design Festa is held twice a year and if you’re interested in shopping for independent art and craft it’s one for your calendar. There are also stages for various acts and areas and performance art… something for everyone as far as art goes.

    This year crochet and needle felting seemed to be very much in vogue. The ‘miset’ sign below was entirely crocheted. And did you see the gorgeous earrings in my post yesterday which I bought at Design festa?

    And of course being Japan, ‘cute’ is always in.

    Naturally there are a lot of fun and interesting ways people showcase their work… like putting embroidered brooches in a madeline tray. Who would’ve thought?

    With nearly 3000 exhibitors there’s always so much to see – and it’s people-watching heaven.

    A lot of artists use their stall space as a canvas for their art, and many are creating the entire time. This guy was hand carving the most beautiful stamps.

    A few more random images:

    These were the most incredibly detailed scenes created in small boxes. They were displayed on black plinths against black walls and lit by black desk lamps. They were so amazing and there were so many people crowding around that it was impossible to get any decent photos.

    I bought my goddaughter a lovely little painting, but I didn’t photograph it because I know her mum will be reading this. [Hi Donna!] I also bought a few books and postcards by some very talented artists, which I’ll share in another post. The photo below shows one of my favourite purchases of my whole trip: a quirky little softie guy. He’s only about 8cm (just over 3 inches) tall and is so sweet – made from linen and hand embroidered. There’s also an embroidered book cover and a little coaster backed with handwoven fabric. Please excuse the unironed fabric background!

    And lastly from Design Festa this necklace and brooch made from felt.

    Once I get them photographed I’ll show you the cards and a few books I bought from Design Festa artists. And hopefully I’ll find some of their websites so you can see more. As you can probably see it’s visual overload, and a wonderful way to spend a day or two.

  8. A week of flowers: Chelsea Flower Show


    With more magnificent blooms from Chelsea Flower Show on Saturday, this could quite easily become "two weeks of flowers" …

    I really loved this old-fashioned display of daffodils – apparently the guy has been attending the show for thirty-odd years and has as many awards under his belt. I was also amazed by the sheer variety of daffodils.




    Heavenly scents (and the most perfect, old-fashioned English roses) from the David Austin stand…





    and James May's plasticine garden (with plasticine ladybirds and clever cauliflowers) …




  9. Shopping in Tokyo Part 1


    Before this trip to Tokyo I already had a nice little collection of Japanese craft books from my holiday there last year and from regular visits to the fab Sydney branch of Kinokuniya. These photos are of all my books, including the dozen or so that I just bought. The book prices in Japan are about half what you pay here… hence my very heavy hand luggage.

    One of my favourites at the moment is the one on top of the pile called Knot. It features the most divine and delicate accessories. As my fellow Owls will attest I had no patience with or interest in crocheting granny squares (at the end of the evening I gave away the hooks and yarn I’d bought), but oh my, I’d crochet my heart out if I thought there was any hope I could make things this lovely. I’ll be on the scout for someone to translate this book, as well as a patient teacher.

    At Design Festa (there’ll be a whole post devoted to wonderful, crazy Design Festa tomorrow) I bought the beautiful earrings below, which are very much in the style of the projects in Knot.

    Aren’t they fab? A crocheted flower shape hangs in one gold hoop, and some cascading tendrils in the other.

    Lotta Jansdotter is apparently huge in Japan although disappointingly I didn’t come across any of her fabric there. I did find this book though, called Handmade Project, which has text in both Japanese and English.

    The two best places I found for craft books in Tokyo were Okadaya and Kinokuniya, both in Shinjuku. I’m going to try to get some directions/maps together for shops I write about. In the meantime though if you’re heading to Tokyo and want to know where to find them just email me. Or, if you want Tokyo shopping link overload check out Asking for Trouble’s guide here.

  10. Foxy Knocker


    Happy Bank Holiday, London birdies! Couldn't resist taking a pic of this rather handsome fellow on the door next to Ryantown on Columbia Road last week. You can also see that I've recently taken to photographing piles of shop bags (see pic below). However, you should note that these are extra-special shop bags, hand-screen printed by Rob Ryan and featuring a cute wee birdy stamp in the corner. Swoon!


  11. Summer Tweets Tutorial :: small magazine


    I was flattered and excited when Olivia from the lovely online magazine small asked me to create a tutorial for the (northern hemisphere) summer issue, which came out last week.

    I came up with the idea of a bright and fun bird mobile which is made using mainly fabric scraps and newspaper. The swings are rattan cane rings wrapped in fabric and the birds are made using my ‘cheat’s papier mache‘. Roxy and I had lots of fun in the last school holidays making these sweet little birdies and they are now hanging from the light in her bedroom.

    You can see the tutorial in small and in more detail on their blog smaller (such a clever and sweet name). As always this issue of small is packed with gorgeous things and is well worth having a look even if you don’t have any small people in your life.